One day I took myself apart. I started with my little toe, and removed it like a puzzle piece. I continued with my next toe and worked my way up until I had broken off each bone and placed them carefully on the floor. Next to them I laid my liver, my intestines, my kidneys, every little part of me. I examined each of them and made sure they appeared to be in perfect working order. Then I stumbled across my heart. It looked similar to the hearts I had seen at the butchers, yet something about it was different. There appeared to be a bright object lodged in the middle of it. I put my arm back together and dug my hand deep into my heart. In it I found a round purple crystal. “A crystal in a heart? Surely that can’t be healthy”. So I separated it from my other body parts and placed it somewhere secret. That way I knew it would not accidentally be put back in. I removed my arm again and lay separate from my shell, contemplating whether to put myself back together again. “If I remain broken”, I thought, “I won’t have any worries. Each part of me can lay here forever separate from the other. And then I can just wait. I can wait for someone else to put me back together”. So that’s exactly what I did. I waited and waited; seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, even months. Yet nobody came and put me back together. Everyday was exactly the same. Until one day someone came along, took me piece by piece and completed the puzzle. I became whole again.
This time something was different. I was not the same as I was before. I could not smile, I could not laugh, I could not sing or dance. I became just like all the other city strugglers walking day in and day out with no direction. So I left the city and decided to look for you. I could not find you anywhere. I knocked on your door but there was no sign of you ever living there. I walked the streets for days and searched all your favourite spots, but you were nowhere to be found. So one day I gave up. I decided that I must have created you all in my mind, and that you never actually existed. Erasing the idea of you from my memory I went back to the grey, littered streets where no eyes ever met.
Then late one night I came across something I had not seen, or even thought of for such a long time. It was the purple crystal that I had removed from my heart so very long ago. I held it in my cold hands for a moment, when something very peculiar happened. My hands suddenly became warm. I heard a strange noise that I was no longer familiar with. It was the sound of my own laughter. My mind started to flood with ideas, for great stories and adventures. The black clothes that I was so used to wearing transformed into the bright colours of the rainbow. The light in the room turned itself on, and music started playing from the stereo. But what shocked me the most was that with holding this crystal every memory of you flooded back. From walking your dogs through the park together, to laughing so much with you until tears rolled down our face, to giving you a big hug when you were feeling sad. It was then I realized that it was not the crystal that brought the smiles, the ideas, the colours and music. It was the memories of you contained within it that released the laughter.
I wanted so badly to hold onto this feeling forever so I took myself apart again. Starting from my little toe and working my way up to the hairs on my head. This time though, I did something different. I placed the purple crystal carefully back into my heart, and without relying on someone else to do it, I put myself back together again.
My whole world changed within that moment. I no longer walked the gloomy city streets. I stopped spending time with the other zombies at the graveyard. In fact, I began to dream once again. All the hope that had been gone for so long had come back to me. Everything that I had decided for some reason or another I just “couldn’t do”, I wanted to try. I began my search for greater things. And I began my search with you. An endeavour I anticipated would take a very long time. So I made a plan. I mapped out all the places you might be, packed my travel bag and got prepared for a journey. It turns out I needn’t have packed so much after all. On the first day I walked through your back gates, and to my very pleasant surprise there you were. Sitting on the back verandah, laughing to yourself and drinking tea. I sat down next to you, took your hand into mine, and looked into your warm eyes. I didn’t have to say anything. We both understood.
I vowed to myself at that moment that never again would I let that purple crystal be taken away from my heart. It was simply a part of me.